Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 4.9 percent last month, from 4.8 percent in July, as private employers failed to add jobs for only the second time this year.
Iowa Workforce Development on Friday reported 80,800 people were unemployed in August, up from 79,000 in July. The total number of working Iowans grew to 1,574,400 in August, from 1,573,300 in July.
Total nonfarm employment in Iowa dropped by 900 jobs in August, lowering the monthly total to 1,532,500. The only other month this year that private sector employers failed to add jobs was March, when 4,500 jobs were lost.
“Encouraged by the upward trend in total employment for the year, more Iowans are entering the labor force,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Iowa’s labor force reached its highest level for the year in August at 1,655,300.”
Job growth in August was limited to government (up 3,700), education and health services (up 500) and construction (up 200). Retail trade, however, lost 1,600 jobs in August, pulling the trade and transportation sector down by 1,300.